The chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Onyema, has called on government to support Nigerian airlines by helping them play the international aero politics.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos recently, Onyema stated that that due to lack of government support, the airline lost over a billion naira to charges in six months while flying the West coast routes.
He said domestic airlines need the backing of the government in terms of slot negotiation, charges harmonisation and the normal détente that would stop West African countries from pushing Nigerian carrier around.
“Cote d’voire gave us permission to fly into their country and we got there not even airport office was given to us, no office and they slammed us with $10,000 charges totality.
My brothers and sisters tell me how many people are you carrying on that plane.
Are they paying $10,000 in Nigeria? And we are talking about Nigerian airlines not accessing the SAATM.
Our own people talking that Nigerian airlines lack capacity, and no one has bothered to ask us how it is even when we complained we haven’t received any help.
“It is now I hear Nigeria is calling them to a meeting to streamline charges.
That has not actualized an Airfield has lost over a billion in 6months flying the West Coast, when they presented this to me a few days ago I almost cried.
What we make here we are expending them I the West Coast region because of their charges and these airlines are receiving support from their governments some of them are not even paying taxes, Air Peace from day one had started paying tax and charges.
We have it in our country, they don’t have it in their country and when we get there they double the charges.
For Nigerian Airlines to thrive people need to hear our cries.
“On the international scene, I’ve told you if your country gives you the status of a flag carrier and you want to fly to London or another destination, the other country, they have an airline.
They don’t want you to come and compete with their own airline, whether private airline or whatever, they don’t want you to compete.
” “Even the airlines try to prevent you and their country will indirectly suspend you for a while until they are able to fathom a way of dealing with you when you come in.
They can raise non-existent issues to hold you down, it is then you need the support of the government to play that politics to let them know that if you do not allow our flag carriers to come in, we are going to stop you.